Before Spotify and before decent music taste, the 90’s was a time of single sex bands and cringeworthy pop music. Booming loud on your stereo as you walked through the house chastising the ears of everyone in it. Or pulsating through your walkman as you stepped to the lyrical wonders of boy bands.
It was bliss every time you heard the song come on, screeching the chorus to the embarrassment of your mum. A child groupie waiting desperately for their hero to come on stage, screen, or airwaves.
Relive the very best boy bands, girl groups and the iconic pop music they offered. The puberty of music development. What would your playlist be like today if you hadn’t gone through this wonderfully awkward stage?
We have the pop gods to thank for Justin Timberlake, making his music debut with the boy band N*Sync. Awfully bleached crisp yellow hair foiled into noodle like ringlets, even with a look like that he still made it big. All singing, all dancing, the boys were a staple then and now to any good throwback playlist.
Five girls each embodying a character so well, we’re not sure we know their real names. Sassy pop from a well dressed group all about the girl power. Which Spice Girl are you? A regular question to ask at this time. The video clips and Spice Girls movie are a time capsule of 90’s fashion, and we miss it. Posh couldn’t even sing and they still made it big.
Home to the baggiest pant wearing boys, The Backstreet Boys were iconic at the time. Nick Carter was the poster boy you peeled out of your TV Hits magazine every month, and you were heartbroken when he dated Paris Hilton. I Want You Back, Backstreets Back and every other absolute smash hit had you turning up your walkman well past a safe volume.
Beyonce’s entry onto our playlists was one to remember. There is absolutely no shame in still blasting these tunes and if you leave the house even semi-regularly you’ll know they’re having a massive renaissance. Forget about the music for the moment, which were all but anthems, the powerful way these ladies carried themselves was well before their time.
This British gang were all about classic croons, you’ll still hear their tracks being spun in clubs and cars the world over. And although they aren’t as well known as the Spice Girls, their actually the second most successful across the pond. Turn it up and guarantee the words will come back to you in no time.
You may recall their more recent songs, but before they started switching members of the trio like no tomorrow, the girls were pure 90’s in their debut songs.
Not much needs to be said about this RnB powerhouse. No Scrubs and Waterfalls still sit as some of the most overplayed songs on radio today, and we actually don’t get sick of them. As good as the first day we heard them.
Brit pop came from this bland trio whose personalities were less than intriguing, but the music was catchy so we turned it up nonetheless. The Tide Is High a true anthem for 90’s kids and tweens everywhere.
It’s more familiar from it’s deodorant ad commercial than it’s actual release, but that beat will get you every time.
Weirder now upon review but they were a must have in your CD collection back in the day. All double denim madness all the time.
Strutting into our musical rotation with purpose, these funky divas are still fire to listen to. Free Your Mind with every listen.
Another example of the very nineties use of a Q in a random spot, the band itself was a Destiny’s Child copy but we didn’t mind in the slightest. You’re probably most familiar with them thanks to their duet with N*Sync or their feature spot in the movie Honey.
New Kids on The Block
Before they were stepping out on dance floors everywhere, Mark Wahlberg was meant to be in the band. His brother Donnie stayed and killed it with the group for many years, even touring recently in a comeback tour. Imagine Mark Wahlberg strutting around to this tune, makes it that much better.
Before Nick’s short lived wife Jessica Simpson was embarrassing herself on their reality tv show, Nick was the lead singer for 98 Degrees. Is it chicken or tuna? Not sure, but it is a hit.
A breeding ground for today’s pop superstars, the original Take That launched Robbie Williams into public consciousness. Much bigger in the UK but here in Aus they still rumbled up the charts with every single. Listening to vintage Robbie is more entertaining than you would think.
Before Brian met Delta he was fronting Westlife, singing about every love drama every conceived. One of Simon Cowell’s first concoctions the band went on to sell 50 million albums worldwide. You know quaint.
Before Chet Fake took over this tune, there was Blackstreet. You know all the words already so appreciate the original in all it’s finery.
Built as a partner group to the Spice Girls, the boys enjoyed nowhere near the same success. But when you had a taste for pop and their CD was on sale, you know it was party of CD wallet collection.
Remember Omarion? This is where he first started belting it out. They came out on the cusp of the nineties and the noughties, what a wonderful intersection to map. You won’t be disappointed.
A boy band with a difference, Blue were all about the RnB and soul. All Rise is one of the most underrated tunes of the time, so jump back into it with pride.
Jesse McCartney found his feet with this boy band where the members were literally children. Singing achingly about sugar rushes and crushes, you can see even from these early days he was a talent.
Boys II Men
Oh the sunglasses, forget about the music, Boys II Men were iconic from the moment you saw their face. RnB in it’s purest form, reminisce on the good old days and hark back to a simpler time.
Not strictly a boy band but an all male duo, Australia’s own Savage Garden were the kings of ballads at the time. If you don’t sing it with impassioned stance you don’t deserve to listen. Truly Madly Deeply engulf yourself in this nostalgic magic.
Ronan Keating before he was riding rollercoasters and making people cry with his sweet songs all over the world. Boyzone, if you put the terrible name aside, was a pop enterprise of massive proportions. Built from a newspaper ad in 1993, they became one of the most talented offerings out there. Go on turn back time.
Sure today they’re more of a motown offering, but Human Nature began as a boy band so many years ago. Australia’s most iconic boyband, when you take a look at the video and you’ll see just why. Peak 90’s fashion in all it’s glory.
Image source: Pop Sugar.